Nearly 60 members of Congress are unable to contact constituents after a cyber attack shut down a popular government vendor.
iConstituent offers a single platform for government officials to manage contacts, send messages to the people that they represent and track projects. Multiple state governments use iConstituent, including Georgia and Hawaii, Punchbowl News reported Tuesday.
???? BREAKING in @PunchbowlNews AM: iConstituent — provider of constituent services platform for dozens of House offices — hit by ransomware attack.
This is a very big deal.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) June 8, 2021
However, the hack did not spread to Congress’ own tech infrastructure, the House’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Catherine Szpindor confirmed.
“The CAO is not aware of any impact to House data. The CAO is coordinating with the impacted offices supported by iConstituent and has taken measures to ensure that the attack does not affect the House network and offices’ data,” she told Punchbowl.
iConstituent is the latest company to be targeted by hackers in a ransomware attack. In the past month, the Colonial Pipeline, JBS meat supplier and Massachusetts Steamship Authority were all targeted by hackers in ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks often use spam emails to hack and lock up a victim’s computer files, according to the McAfee computer security company. Hackers then require the victims to pay them in order to release the files. (RELATED: DOJ Bust Canadian Ransomware Attacker, Seize Over $450,000 In Extorted Cryptocurrency)
The White House is urging business leaders to protect their data and servers.
“All organizations must recognize that no company is safe from being targeted by ransomware, regardless of size or location. But there are immediate steps you can take to protect yourself, as well as your customers and the broader economy,” Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger wrote in a June 3 memo.